A Guide to Identifying, Hunting, and Taming Cryptids

24 03 2009

I’m not what you would call an expert, but in addition to psychology, phrenology, and alchemy, I do dabble in cryptozoology from time to time. In my studies, I’ve found that no matter where you may travel, there will always be legends of some sort of semi-mythical creature. The catch is, these creatures are only ever seen by a select few, and those who see them are often considered to be less than reputable sources. If a man or woman could actually capture one of these creatures, tame it, and introduce it into modern society, they would be renowned the world over. Therefore, it is to this end that I have compiled everything you need to know to ensnare any one of numerous creatures from around the world.

sasquatchSasquatch (USA)

Identification: The Sasquatch is found in the forests of the Pacific North West, living nocturnally and enjoying an omnivorous diet typical of primates. Also known as “Bigfoot”, the Sasquatch is traditionally described as 6-10 feet tall, with feet up to 24 inches long and the appearance of a gorilla walking upright.

Hunting: As with many cryptids, the Sasquatch is a difficult creature to find. I’d suggest wearing some form of camouflage and hiding in the branches of a redwood tree, as Bigfoot is known for being quite skittish and will likely flee if you attempt to approach him directly. According to the 1995 Disney film “A Goofy Movie”, Bigfoot is strongly attracted to the smell of nearby grilled steaks, so if you plan to set traps, freshly cooked meat makes for an excellent bait.

Taming: The Sasquatch is one of the more human cryptids, and as such, is more likely to be tamable then a chupacabra or bunkip. Your first goal in taming the Bigfoot would be to cure it of its extreme xenophobia, probably through a regimen of systematic desensitization. Once the Sasquatch is unafraid of those around it, your next goal should be self-hygiene; Bigfoot is notorious for his foul odor. Within months, your Sasquatch, if properly trained, will be prepared for integration into society in small doses; too much at once, and he may revert to his xenophobic nature. If this retraining is successful, encourage the Sasquatch to seek gainful employment. A good idea would be those Geico caveman commercials.

jersey_devilJersey Devil (USA)

Identification: The Jersey Devil is only found in New Jersey, USA, so American cryptid hunters won’t have to venture far to find this one. It’s one weird looking beast: picture a bipedal horse with bat wings, glowing red eyes, a long neck, and the paralyzing scream of a banshee.

Hunting: While tracks have often been found in snow or mud, most Jersey Devil sightings occur while the creature is in flight. As such, while a snare or lure may be tempting, the most efficient method is simply to use a tranquilizer gun or some other form of non-lethal incapacitation that can be used from a great distance.

Taming: As the name would suggest, this guy’s gonna be tough to train. Jersey Devils are legendary for wreaking havoc, and no amount of pleading will change his nature. A cage is highly advised for this animal, although a durable mesh similar to chicken wire will be necessary due to the creature’s propensity to slip through small spaces. As for taming, the best you can do is line his cage with fresh newspaper every so often and hope his chaotic nature subsides.

chupacabraChupacabra (Mexico)

Identification: A largish canine, el Chupacabra is feared and hated by farmers throughout Mexico. With spines along its back, a vampiric thirst for blood and a name that is literally translated as “goat sucker”, el Chupacabra is often found roaming the Mexican countryside at night, and leaves a trail of drained goats with puncture wounds in its wake.

Hunting: The only thing el Chupacabra loves more than a goat is two goats. This is one of the best opportunities you’ll find to test your trapping skills; for bait, use two to three young, virile goats, full of life an energy. While el Chupacabra is feasting on the blood of these goats, you’ll be able to spring your trap effectively and with few complications.

Taming: While it is a savage dog, el Chupacabra is pretty easy to please. Provided with a steady supply of goat’s blood, el Chupacabra can be tamed like any other wild dog. Walking a Chupacabra frequently is encouraged, as house life provides a significantly less active atmosphere than the Mexican country side, and a Chupacabra is not recommended around other, smaller dogs, especially dogs who look like goats.

loch_ness_monsterLoch Ness Monster a.k.a. “Nessie” (Scotland)

Identification: Nessie’s a tricky one to classify. The tell-tale sign of Nessie is the fact that she’s Loch Ness’s resident monster, and tourism booths will be happy to sell you “real” photos of her if you get confused. Often seen from a distance, the head and neck will emerge from the water periodically before diving back into the depths. Most researchers agree the Nessie is likely a Plesiosaur who lives in the subaquatic caves of Loch Ness, although a few contend that she is rather a sea serpent.

Hunting: People have tried to capture Nessie many times and failed. Sonar imaging of the lake shows no signs of Nessie, although this certainly does not outrule the possibility of Nessie fleeing into one of the caves or swimming out into the ocean via underwater inlet. If you wish to capture Nessie, you’ll need to remain quiet underwater for a long time, so bring plenty of oxygen down with you. Nessie is a gentle giant; once you’ve found her, you can probably win her over with gentle petting and affectionate gestures (flowers and candy is always appreciated).

Taming: Obviously, you should have a house by the lake. It would be disrespectful to ask Nessie to come home with you if you have no place to put her. I would recommend a small house with a long dock out over the water. Nessie is not a pet to be tamed; rather, she is a lifelong friend who will come visit you so long as you come running when she does. Those who wish to enjoy a friendship with Nessie can expect to live out their retirement by relaxing on the dock, watching the sun set over the Scottish hills, telling tales of Nessie to the local children, and patiently awaiting her return.

yetiYeti (Nepal)

Identification: Similar to the Bigfoot, the Yeti (known as the Abominable Snowman in some circles) is a reclusive primate, found in the Himalayas rather than North America. The Yeti’s fear of humans is well justified, since the humans of the area are less than hospitable to it, calling it “abominable” and displaying severed scalps of deceased yetis in their monasteries. With whitish fur and a heart full of love, the Yeti is likely the most misunderstood cryptid. Intrepid climbers who seek to scale Everest have often reported hearing a sad, mournful cry echoing off the mountain tops at night, known as “The Song of the Yeti”

Hunting: Why would you hunt a Yeti? Seriously, this guy takes enough crap from everyone as is. The last thing he needs is you going after him with a spear. If you wish to befriend the Yeti (which is strongly encouraged by both myself and the Yetis), I would dress warmly and bring a thermos of hot cocoa to share and a board game of Candy Land. The Yeti will likely be a slow learner, but Candy Land is pretty simple, and once he catches on, you’ll be good to go.

Taming: First, ask the Yeti if he is ready to give humanity another go. He’s had a hard life, and may not be ready to deal with the demons of his past quite yet. If he says no, be patient with him. Yetis are soft-hearted creatures, and he’ll come around. If the warmth of your company has melted his ice-encrusted soul, he’ll tentatively agree. Keep him away from monks and hold his hand as you introduce him to your friends. He’ll be shy at first, but in time, he’ll open up a bit and will probably have some great stories about the mountains.

kappaKappa (Japan)

Identification: Kappas are a truly unique cryptid, and involve an entirely different strategy for catching them. Kappas are most commonly found under footbridges in Japan and are notoriously mischievous. Kappas are similar in appearance to a turtle, with a prominent shell on their backs, although they have heads of hair and a beak-like face. Their demeanor is similar to that of a monkey, they have webbed feet, and they are surprisingly strong, so physical engagement is ill-advised. However, a kappa’s greatest strength is his greatest weakness: their strength is derived from a water-filled cavity atop their heads; removal of the water results in removal of strength.

Hunting: Kappas are big on etiquette, making them simple to catch. A deep bow of respect will compel the Kappa to return the favor, resulting in the water spilling out of his head. After this is accomplished, he can be simply picked up and carried with little resistance. Kappas are also highly intelligent creatures, able to speak and understand Japanese, so if you can come up with a well thought out, logical reason for him to come with you, he’s unlikely to object.

Taming: Kappas are known throughout Japanese folklore as being pranksters. To break him of this habit, my advice would be to respond in kind. Engage in a sort of cat-and-mouse game of practical jokes with the kappa, but don’t let it get carried away. A kappa’s favorite meal is a human child, but it will settle for an adult if provoked. For this reason, it may also be a good idea to have your kappa declawed and detoothed soon after capturing it.

bunyipBunyip (Australia)

Identification: Bunyips are the stuff nightmares are made of. A bunyip traditionally has a dog-like face and body, clawed and webbed toes, and walrus-like tusks, giving it an appearance similar to an aquatic saber-toothed tiger. Bunyips keep to the shallows, lurking in creeks and billabongs, emerging only to snatch up a grown man in his mighty jaws, as shown in the picture at the top of its Wikipedia page.

Hunting: I’d be careful with this one. Previous expeditions have shown that draining the body of water a bunyip calls home will cause it to leave, but no bunyip has ever been captured. Once again, I’d recommend a tranquilizer gun, something to stop it before it’s in range of eating you. The Aboriginees have been dealing with these guys for centuries; try and find a local guide to see if he has any tips for hunting/catching bunyips.

Taming: A bunyip is a mighty beast, and not easily tamed. Start by researching taming techniques for similar beasts, such as saber-toothed tigers and hippopotamuses. Using what you learned from your findings, you can make small, calculated efforts to tame the beast, but remain vigilant. I would personally advice hiring a professional tamer to help you on this one; a bunyip is not to be taken lightly. If you do indeed succeed in taming your bunyip, you should have it fitted with a saddle and ride it around like a king. No current laws exist regarding the riding of bunyips in public places, and even if there were, no one’s gonna try and stop a dude riding an Australian beast with tusks.

jackalopeJackalope (North America)

Identification: Its name a portmanteau of “jackrabbit” and “antelope”, a jackalope is simply a rabbit with antlers, usually found in the southwestern United States. While many “experts” have claimed that the jackalope is a hoax, most likely inspired by rabbits with shope papilloma virus (which causes horn-like growths to spurt from the rabbit’s head), some, including the folks who made Pixar’s short film “Boundin”, still believe in their furry friends

Hunting: The traditional method would be to shoot the jackalope and to mount its head, as President Reagan did at his California ranch. However, killing the jackalope defeats the purpose of taming it and leaves a nasty mess to clean up. Instead, use traditional rabbit catching methods on these guys. The cardboard box propped up with a stick with some peanut butter and sunflower seeds as bait works exceptionally well, so long as you return before the rabbit chews/horns its way through the box.

Taming: Jackalopes don’t have as much personality as the other cryptids, so there’s no real motivation to tame them. Furthermore, their diet is herbivorous and the antlers are just for mating purposes, so no real threat is posed by these guys. You can safely keep them as house pets the way you’d keep a real rabbit, although you should get a bigger cage to allow plenty of horn room.

krakenKraken (Worldwide, esp. Caribbean)

Identification: The Kraken, or Lusca, as it is also known, is a giant sea octopus known for terrorizing sailors and their vessels. The earliest descriptions refer to it as a giant crab, but almost all later descriptions agree that it’s really an octopus. Most recognizable in the Disney “Pirates of the Caribbean” films, the Kraken is known for surfacing near a ship, wrapping its tentacles around the masts, and dragging the vessel and crew down into the depths of the ocean.

Hunting: Being a sea creature of immense proportions, the Kraken is the most difficult creature to capture on this list. Many have tried before, only to be led into a lifetime of unrelenting, Moby Dick-esque hunting of the creature for the rest of their natural lives. At the risk of becoming Captain Ahab, I would advise that you avoid the Kraken at all costs. No good will ever come out of trying to find it, and it doesn’t want to be found.

Taming: Impossible. The Kraken is a soulless killing machine. Alternatively, if you have an octopus for a face, you can control it with some sort of crank thing on your boat. I didn’t really understand that scene.

mokele-mbembeMokele-mbembe (Republic of the Congo)

Identification: Like Nessie, Mokele-mbembe is most likely a dinosaur. All reports by local tribesmen seem to suggest a sauropod, akin to the diplodocus or brachiosaurus, with a long neck, four sturdy legs, a mighty tail, and an affinity for eating the leaves off the top of trees. The Mokele-mbembe wades in the shallow waters of rivers and basins and has been seen by very few outsiders.

Hunting: How does one hunt a dinosaur? It’s not an easy task. The Mokele-mbembe has thick skin which would turn away any sort of tranquilizer dart fired at it, its immense size would make nets useless, and its enormous lung capacity renders gas ineffective. The only advantage for this one is the fact that sauropods are traditionally very dimwitted creatures. So long as you provided simple incentives, such as food, the Mokele-mbembe would likely obey your will, even if that meant leading it into captivity. As for finding one, you should once again inquire with the natives for its whereabouts, as they seem to be the ones who know where to find these beasts.

Taming: If you caught it by playing tricks with its stupid brain, you can just as easily keep it tame using the same methods. I wouldn’t recommend parading this one through any urban areas, however, as someone’s likely to get stepped on. Also, avoid dressing like a tree around this guy. He may eat your head.

rat_king

Note: This is the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles villain known as the Rat King. An actual Rat King is far too disgusting to be shown here.

Rat King (Europe, esp. Germany)

Identification: Easily the most revolting creature on this list, the Rat King is not a single creature, but rather many joined together. A Rat King forms when several rats crammed into an enclosed space find their tails entangled and held together by blood, ice, mud, or worse. Over time, the rats form a hive-mind, with all rats working together to achieve a single goal and sharing the same thought processes, and the single entity known as a Rat King is “born”.

Hunting: Hunting Rat Kings is an extremely bad idea. Rats are filthy creatures to begin with, and the Rat King takes this idea and runs with it. The sight of a Rat King has long been viewed as an omen, and for good reason; Rat Kings typically bring with them disease, especially the Black Plague. If you choose to ignore my warnings, I would advise that you wear full hazmat gear and avoid direct contact with the Rat King. The best place to start your search would be beneath the sewers of major metropolitan areas, especially in Germany, where Rat King sightings are most common.

Taming: The Rat King cannot, nor should it be, tamed. At best, it should be left alone in the sewers to die in its own filth. If you must capture it, seal it within an airtight Plexiglas box with a filter hooked up to ensure that none of its fumes can be breathed in by innocent bystanders.

gnomeGnomes (Argentina)

Identification: Although the mythos surrounding gnomes is a European phenomenon, there were an outbreak of gnome sightings in Argentina in 07-08. As such, the possibility of gnomes being real has once again come into vogue. For those who are unaware, a gnome is a small, bearded man, traditionally small enough to stand under a toadstool. They are typically portrayed as wearing pointed red hats and porcelain or clay likenesses of them are often found in gardens.

Hunting: The gnome is an elusive creature; apart from being hard to see, they can be quite wily and slippery to catch. A well-placed trap can do wonders here, and, even if you don’t catch a gnome, is effective at removing pesky garden squirrels. The gnome usually invokes terror in those who cross it, so avoid locking eyes with the gnome if at all possible. If you must view the gnome, wear swim goggles with tinted lenses or something similar to avoid direct eye contact.

Taming: A gnome is a powerful little creature, full of impish magic. While the gnome is a perfectly well-trained little man, it can be a bit impetuous and will resort to using its magic if angered. As such, until you can teach him self-restraint, try to appease his wishes as much as possible. Firm discipline is not advised, as gnomes tend to take things personally.

mongolian_death_wormMongolian Death Worm (Mongolia)

Identification: The Mongolian Death Worm inhabits the Gobi Desert and is every bit as terrifying as it sounds. This 2-5 foot worm is blood red in color and enjoys incapacitating its foes with an electric discharge or a glob of undiluted sulfuric acid spat at their face. The terror of the desert, it burrows under the sands and emerges only to kill a bystander and drag it back into its lair.

Hunting: The MDW should be shot on sight. No mercy whatsoever.

Taming: See above.

mermaidMermaids (Worldwide)

Identification: In the days when sailing was at its peak, seafarers would often tell tales of mermaids. These half-human, half-fish creatures would swim up alongside boats, no doubt curious about the large object on the surface of the water. While mermaids are apparently able to breathe air, they are not the smartest creatures and tend to forget that humans can’t breathe water, leading to the death of the human as the mermaid tried to take them home with them. They also act like sirens, with their beautiful songs entrancing sailors, causing them to run aground. Or, they’re at least a better excuse for crashing a giant boat than one too many bottles of rum.

Hunting: This is fairly simple. When she invites you back to her place, instead invite her back to yours. If she seems hesitant, inform her that you have a Wii and/or Guitar Hero. This will immediately seal the deal, and she will accompany you back to your pad. You’ll probably have to carry her or bring a wheelchair, since “flipping your fins, you can’t get too far. Legs are required for jumping, dancing, strolling along down those (what do you call them?) streets.”

Taming: There’s not a whole lot of training to be done here. One important thing is to teach her how lungs work, and that they don’t breathe water, at which point she will probably be overcome with immense grief for the countless sailors she’s killed accidentally. This is alright, and is a normal part of the process. Comfort her with a tissue and a tender pat on the back. After that’s over, teach her some of the major differences between human and merman life. For example, she should avoid pools, since the chlorine would probably kill her instantly. And she needs to learn that fish are food, not friends. If not, you could have some seriously awkward moments at Red Lobster.

And now, to spread this knowledge with those who could use it or pass it on to aspiring cryptozoologists, I’ll tag people based on which cryptid they remind me of the most.

Sasquatch – Kylee Husak. Not because you’re hairy, but because Sasquatch is the most popular cryptid, and I’m always seeing quotes from you and pictures of you popping up everywhere.

Jersey Devil – Jess Rathburn. Because you have a wild streak and I don’t think I could tame you.

Chupacabra – Ryan Matthews. Because you seem like the type to steal a Mexican goat.

Loch Ness Monster – Amber Depew. Because, although you don’t live near me, I still get to see you every once in a while.

Yeti – Jesse Jones. Because, although everyone says you’re mean, I choose to believe you’re misunderstood.

Kappa – Alex Laird. Because you’re a small, mischievous fellow, but I’m willing to bet there’s a secret trick to making water pour out of your head.

Bunyip – Justin O’Prandy. Because you scare me sometimes, although in a very cute way.

Jackalope – Gabe Pyle. Because I only see you sometimes, and when you do see you, you’re usually jumping up and down, like that Jackalope from Boundin’

Kraken – Caleb Mays. Because you and I have apparently taken to impromptu wrestling as of late, much like a Kraken and a vessel, and because you’re hair is almost bald, like an octopus.

Mokele-mbembe – Stephen Cox. Because, from the way you eat, I’m willing to bet I could lead you anywhere with the promise of food as an incentive.

Rat King – Garret Rucinski. Because whenever we see each other from a distance, one of us ends up running. Usually me. Also, you got me sick once. Otherwise, you bear no resemblance to this abomination.

Gnome – Kristi Zimmerman. You’re small, well-mannered, and no doubt full of magic.

Mongolian Death Worm – Paul Pyle. Because I enjoy tagging you in notes you’ll never read, you’ve been to Mongolia, and your razor-sharp wit is the closest thing humanly possible to an acid tongue.

Mermaid – Emilie Lynch. If you can forget you’re in the middle of a staring contest, you’d probably forget that humans aren’t fish.

-dave





The Conclusive Couple’s Lingo Handbook

13 03 2009

As Alex and I have decided, it is of utmost importance to use the proper terms when referring to various forms of PDA. As such, we have compiled a handy glossary of terms for you to know which term to use in which situation.

1. Cuddle
A very broad term, used to describe an act of affection between one person and another that involves no lips or anything inappropriate. This kind of behavior is most often seen in Cedarville within lounge couples, as it is fairly innocent and only mostly awkward for those around you.

2. Snuggle
A bit more intimate than simply cuddling, snuggling is often done in a reclined or horizontal position and is usually accompanied by the whispering of sweet nothings into one another’s ears. This one’s pretty sensual, kids, so save this one for the honeymoon.

3. Canoodle
A form of head cuddling, this one involves affectionate rubbing of the back, top, and sides of your head against your significant other. This one is weird if you just jump right into it, so you’ll probably want to segue in with a simpler form of cuddling.

4. Nuzzle
A modified version of canoodling, involving more of the face than the other sides of the head. The name comes from the use of the nose prominently in this method.

5. Grope
This is sketchy territory. Groping involves use of the palms primarily and should not be wielded by any couple not wearing matching wedding bands. According to Alex, “it involves squeezing”. Enough has been said about this topic.

6. Fondle
Groping with fingers instead of palms.

7. Graze
The paradoxical touch. A graze can be accidental, with no meaning implied and entirely by accident, or it can be purposeful, a provocative touch used to send a message. A graze is simply a skimming of the skin using fingertips or even the nails. This touch can lead to all kinds of nonsense, so be careful.

8. Caress
Like a graze, but you linger more, rather than glancing off. This is when you want to send a message with your graze, and you want to make sure it’s coming through loud and clear. It’s pretty much a “come hither” move.

9. Hug
A hug involves mutual arm wrapping around the upper torso and shoulder regions. No rubbing, patting, or anything else is involved in this one. This is what you give your grandma.

10. Bro Hug
A hug between two men. Used to express “guy love”, which is not gay, but rather a deep-seated feeling of respect, appreciation, and comraderie. The traditional distinguishing mark of a bro hug is two pats on the back mid-hug.

11. Embrace
A more intense version of a hug, used to express deep emotion, usually “I missed you” or “I love you”. This involves tighter squeezing than a typical hug, and may involve some rubbing of the back for good measure.

12. Kug
A kiss hug. Not to be confused with one added while performing the other, a kug is only a kug when both hug and kiss are initiated simultaneously.

13. Grug
Kudos to Alex for this one. This is an embrace, but with copious back rubbing, groping, and fondling. If you’re not sure if it’s a grug or an embrace, look around you. A true grug will disgust everyone in the immediate vicinity except those involved.

14. Huddle
Not an affectionate cuddle. A huddle can be used for warmth or to relay vital information in a football game. Usually comprised of 3 or more people, rather than the usual 2. A huddle is always platonic; any feelings for co-huddlers should not be addressed or expressed mid-huddle.

15. Spoon
To lay close together, allowing the bodies’ shape to contour to one another. Named for its resemblance to a stack of spoons. This can be used for warmth, like a huddle, or amorously, like a snuggle.

16. Neck
Necking is a tricky term. Some use it to mean heavy kissing or making out; others interpret it as a rubbing of two necks together. The latter of these two is the correct definition. If you’re unsure what this looks like, please refer to Simba and Nala in The Lion King when they’re all grown up and “Can You Feel The Love Tonight?” is drawing to a close. I think it happens in a couple of other places, too.

17. Pet
Like you would do to a dog. Not intended for use outside of marital boundaries.

18. Dandle
It’s a real word. We looked it up. This is a standing cuddle, usually while walking. Each participant has one arm around the other and the two walk close together, often in sync. Comical results may occur when the couple varies dramatically in height or one member’s shoe is untied.

19. Feel Up
Groping exclusive to the errogenous zones. Don’t even think about this one, kids.

20. Nestle
Similar to a canoodle, but far more one-sided. Often done by the woman, it involves burying one’s head in their partner’s chest, usually lingering there for a significant period of time. The nestlee will often wrap his/her arms around the nestler in a half-hug so they don’t feel left out.

21. Kiss
Contact between the two sets of lips. That’s all there is to it.

22. Make Out
Also known less formally as “tonsil hockey” and “spit swapping”, making out involves open mouths and tongues swirling. An awkward moment may occur involving the clinking of the teeth together; for this reason, it is advised that at least one person keep their upper lip wrapped around their incisors.

23. Snog
While the British use this to refer to making out, a bona fide snog is an even more intense version of tonsil hockey. In a snog, tongue-to-uvula contact is not uncommon and participants may experience a gag reflex if their partner gets carried away. Known for its high rate of spreading disease as well as the weird taste left in the mouth afterwards.

24. Side Hug
A gesture of comraderie, the side hug is usually one-sided and involves a momentary wrapping of one’s arm around the other’s shoulders while standing akimbo to them.

25. Butterfly Kiss
Brushing of the eyelashes against each other. Some find it to be cute; others, incredibly annoying. Consult your partner first before attempting this one.

26. Eskimo Kiss
Mutual nuzzling of the noses against one another. No actual connection to Inuits.

27. Firm Handshake
An excellent gesture in business, it can bring a level of awkwardness to a relationship and usually signifies that he/she is just not that into you.

So there you have it folks. Dave and Alex’s definitive guide to what to call whatever those lounge couples over there are doing. If you have any suggestions for additions (keep it clean), feel free to let us know.

-dave and alex





Things I’ve Heard, Pt. 3

7 12 2008

Here’s the third installment.  Sorry it’s so short.  My excuse is that it’s Finals week.  I’m sure I’ve overheard quite a bit more than this, but this is all I seem to have time to type up.

1.  Facebook Chat

The Scene:  Two Soccer players are sitting in the Computer Pit outside The Hive discussing their exploits.

Soccer Jock 1:  I got 120, man!
Soccer Jock 2:  No way, dude!  That’s awesome!
Soccer Jock 1:  I’m serious.  It almost didn’t happen, and I was so shocked when it did, but now I have the record.
Soccer Jock 2:  That’s pretty sweet.  So how did it happen?
Soccer Jock 1:  Well, the old record was, like, 107.  But I beat that by a landslide.
Soccer Jock 2:  Yah?
Soccer Jock 1:  Yah.  Soccer Jock 3 and I were just sitting at my computer the other night, watching it go up.  It was at 100, then it jumped up to 106, then it dropped down to 98.  I didn’t think it was going to happen, and then, for a few seconds, it jumped to 120!
Soccer Jock 2:  Nobody’s going to believe you, though.
Soccer Jock 1:  No, dude, Soccer Jock 3 was there too!  He saw it.
Soccer Jock 2:  Well, at least you have a witness.  That’s awesome.
Soccer Jock 1:  Yah.  So, now I have the record on the Soccer team for most friends on Facebook Chat at one time.

The Lesson:  You, my friend, need to get a life.  I have an idea.  How about you go out and spend some time with a few of those 120 friends (who are clearly as anti-social as yourself) instead of sitting in your room hoping to get a record number of them to all sit down at their computers and sign onto Facebook at the same time.  That’s just sad.  What’s even more sad is that you’re having a competition over it with your Soccer team.  You do know that most of the school scoffs at your arrogance, right?  And this isn’t helping your case out much …

I’m still not sure which is worse though: the Soccer team or the Baseball team.  But this scenario definitely helped the Soccer team a lot of points against them.

2.  Kanye West Isn’t Black

The Scene:  I’m ashamed to admit that this actually happened at my University.  However, I’m guessing they’re getting kicked out pretty soon because their IQs have dropped too low.  A group of white people sitting around discussing gansta rap and black people.

Person 1:  What about Kanye West?
Person 2:  He’s such a poser.  He’s not even ghetto at all.
Person 3:  Seriously.  He’s only, like, 1/8 black!

The Lesson:  You’re absolutely right.  How dare he try to be ghetto while only being 1/8 black!  I’m in the process of proving to our superiors that my generation isn’t as racist as our predecessors.  You guys are not helping.  If I learned anything from IQ tests, it’s the following:  If all Bs are As and all Cs are Bs, then all Cs must be As.  In this case, however, all As are not necessarily Cs, so this cannot be said in reverse.

Just because someone’s black doesn’t give them qualification to be in a gang, and not all black people are in gangs.  Please, go get an education.

3.  Mr. Dirty

The Scene:  Since we’re on a racist theme, several of us were sitting around in my room discussing theme ideas for Christmas Open Dorms.  One of us was black, yes.  We’ll call him Person 3.

Person 1:  So we can do The Many Manly Men of Christmas.
Person 2:  Alright, what are some Manly Men we can dress up as?
Person 1:  Somebody could be Mr. Clean.
Person 3:  I should do that.
Person 4:  But Mr. Clean is white.
Person 2:  That’s the point.  It’s ironic.
Person 1:  More like Mr. Dirty …

The Lesson:  Don’t ever say this.  Dave and I looked at each other with extremely awkward expressions for quite some time, trying as best we could not to completely bust out laughing.  The lesson is: stop making racist remarks! 

-alex





Things I Don’t Understand, Pt. 6

21 11 2008
To celebrate the holiday spirit, here’s some of my least-understood holiday traditions

1. Pie at Thanksgiving
I’m probably gonna take flak for this one, but hear me out. On Thanksgiving day, we eat a variety of foods. Turkey, corn, beans, cranberries, pumpkin, apples, and the list goes on. We eat these foods because they’re traditional. They’re traditional because that’s what they ate at the first Thanksgiving. They ate them at the first Thanksgiving because that’s what they had growing naturally in America at the time. But not pie. Pie crust is made with flour. Native Americans weren’t known for their ample supplies of flour. Corn, yes, but no one eats pumpkin pie with a corn crust. It’s delicious, and it’s traditional, but if you think about, it just doesn’t make sense.

2. Fruitcake
While I’m ragging on festive foods, I’ll take a shot at fruitcake. Everyone hates it. Even people who like it can’t stomach a whole thing. People buy them as gag gifts sometimes, but have you ever seen someone laugh when they open a present and it contains a fruitcake? It’s the thought that counts, but if the gift is fruitcake, the thought is irrelevant. There is no excuse for fruitcake.

3. Mistletoe
I feel no need to explain this, but I will anyways. Mistletoe is a hemi-parasitic, poisonous plant which people enjoy hanging in doorways and making out under. It’s an old tradition and it makes no sense. The only kiss-ish thing about mistletoe might be the hemi-parasitic thing (it’s a parasite that is fully capable of surviving on its own if it wants), and that really only applies to some high school couples and newlyweds (and I’m not sure the “hemi” applies to those high school couples). So essentially, it involves mimicking a plant which you walk under. I think next year I’ll hang a Venus Flytrap over my door and anyone who walks under it has to eat a bug. It’s festive!

4. Yule Logs
Also known by its other name, the “Great Ashen Faggot”, it’s a log. That you burn. On Christmas. Why this is more special than any other log you might burn on Christmas remains a mystery. It supposedly has something to do with the Norse god Thor, but Thor does lightning. And comic books. Not logs. So this tradition doesn’t quite seem to fit…

And so I’m not run out of town for insulting holidays, here’s some of the usual stuff.

5. Meatloaf
Nearly all American kids are subjected to this dish at some point during their childhood. If you’re one of the few who are unfamiliar with it, it’s composed of ground beef, breadcrumbs, seasonings, and sometimes vegetables or cheese, mushed together into a pulpy mixture and baked into a loaf, then slathered in ketchup (or catsup, if you prefer). So essentially, it’s a hamburger that someone beat the crap out of and then smooshed into a pan to give it the loaf shape. What doesn’t make sense is why someone would be sitting there, enjoying a delicious hamburger, and thinking to themself, “You know, this would be so much better if it was mushy, and baked, and coated in an unnecessary amount of ketchup, and if I needed a fork to eat it”

6. Mountain Dew Spin-Off Nomenclature
Mountain Dew’s name is a bit of a stretch as is, as it’s not anything like actual dew and is based out of New York, which is definitely not a mountain. Putting that aside, the spin-off flavors all have stupid names. For example:
Code Red (Cherry MD) – This one makes the most sense, since it’s red-colored and all. I’ll give them this one.
Live Wire (Orange MD) – This is where the stupidity begins. Live wire? Is this a subtle way of saying I’ll be “shocked” by how good it is? That drinking it will be an “electrifying” experience? That the high levels of caffeine will leave me feeling “wired”, with a “buzz” that will keep me awake?
Pitch Black (Grape MD) – It’s not even black-colored. It’s purple.
Supernova (Strawberry Melon MD) – A supernova is a star that is exploding. Ergo, when I drink something called “supernova”, I fully expect my lower jaw to melt and drip off my face into a tooth-filled puddle on the floor. Instead, it’s served chilled over ice. “Absolute zero” would apply here. That took me two seconds, and I did it for free. Meanwhile, a team of highly paid marketing experts got together for several months, and the best name they could come up with was “supernova”. Nice work, guys. Bonus checks all around.
Voltage (Raspberry Citrus MD) – See Live Wire above
Revolution (Wild Berry MD) – This name brings up images of Pancho Villa, Che Guevara, and V for Vendetta. The one thing these dudes had in common: Mustaches. Revolution would thus be a good name for the potion from Willy Wonka that makes you grow large amounts of facial hair. For a sugar-laced drink marketed towards “x-treme” clean-shaven teenagers, not so much.

7. Nerf Guns
When you shoot someone with a real gun, they bleed and die. When you shoot someone with a Nerf gun, everyone laughs and has a good time. When you pistol whip someone with a real gun, they bleed and die. When you pistol whip someone with a Nerf gun, everyone laughs and has a good time. No, wait. They bleed and die. It seems like we’re sending mixed messages to the kids here. Why aren’t the butt ends of Nerf pistols made of foam or something? You can’t imply that a Nerf gun is a safe alternative to a real gun when using it like a real gun can sometimes still kill someone. That’s like saying a dog is completely housebroken, but if he drinks the right liquids, he will still pee all over your duvet.

8. Bottled Iced Tea
Tea is traditionally served hot. For summer weather or those who don’t like hot drinks, there’s iced tea. And for those who are on the go, there’s “bottled iced tea”. Which is never true, because for it to be bottled iced tea, there would have to be ice cubes in the bottle. And the cubes would melt during shipping. So it can’t be both bottled and iced. It can be bottled cold tea, but that sounds stupid.

9. Bonsai
Bonsai is the Asian art of planting a tree in a really small pot and then trimming it as it grows, so that you wind up getting a really small tree. It looks really cool, but it’s a weird process. It’s sort of like Chinese foot binding, but with the whole tree, not just the roots. It’s more like dressing a baby in baby clothes, but then forcing it to wear baby clothes for the rest of its life, while you use sandpaper to file down whatever grows too big for the tiny singlet.

That’s all I got for now.

-dave




Things I’ve Heard, Pt. 2

13 11 2008

In the latest issue of Cedars, the Cedarville University student newspaper, the entire back page was dedicated to student responses (sent in via email) to our new president-elect, Barack Obama.  Below, I critique the ones that stuck out to me.

1.  No Words

There are no words to describe it, short and sweet.  “A dream come true.”  God is in control.

Wait, if there were no words (short and sweet or not), why do you then go on to list a few words?  That … That makes no sense.

2.  Yes We Can

Yes we did.

I had to include the Bob the Builder reference …

3.  Checks and Balances

America got what she wanted… CHANGE.  Obama, Pelosi and Reed now control the executive and legislative branches, and the possibility of the judicial branch through Obama’s nominations… so much for checks and balances!  I’m glad God is sovereign, especially even when things don’t make sense!

Very observant.  America would have gotten change either way.  Additionally, I’m pretty sure we still have checks and balances, regardless of who’s in the branches.  You can’t just take away checks and balances, that’s kind of the concept of The Constitution.

4.  Zimmerman/Thompson ’12

I put down myself and my roommate as write-ins.  Even though Obama is technically the winner, I’m still hoping that works out for us.  Zimmerman/Thompson ’12!!!!

Kristi, you’re famous!  Oh, by the way, Dave wrote this from your email account, that’s why you don’t remember writing it ;).  Words of wisdom: never leave your computer unattended.  Also, you guys should probably give up now.  You don’t stand a chance against the unstoppable force of the Cox/Laird ‘012 train!

5.  Antarctica

I’m moving to Antarctica.  Anybody wanna come with me?

We’re holding you to that.  You and everyone who claims they’re moving to Canada, Africa, and … anywhere out of the country.  Actually, Dave has a bona fide list.  You’ve got two months after Obama’s sworn in to get out or he’s reporting you to homeland security.  So there.

6.  9/11 Comparisons

Obama, the new president-elect, has made history and I respect that immensely.  However, those at Cedarville that try to elevate the significance of this historical event to the same importance of events like 9/11 are horribly misguided.

I completely agree.  Why would you even compare the election to 9/11?  They’re on two completely different spectrums.  One involved terrorists slaughtering countless innocent Americans.  The other involved the majority of the country picking one man to be their new president.  So any connection that might be there is one you made up.  Probably on your connecting flight to Antarctica.

7.  Christian Responses

While I didn’t vote for Obama, I am frustrated by responses I’ve heard from some Christians, referring to people who didn’t vote for John McCain as ignorant and uninformed.  Just because someone votes differently than you doesn’t mean they’re ignorant.

Preach it!  Please refer to the stupidity in this article for a few examples.

8.  Voting by Skin Color

I’m excited about having a black president for the first time in America history, but I think that the way some people voted and talked indicated that we as a nation still have not reached the point where people are not judged by skin color.

Although I think that it’s cool to have an African American president, it really bothers me that he may be the first president who might not have wont he election but for the color of his skin.

Two people both posted on the same issue.  Obama is clearly our new president simply because he’s black.  It has nothing to do with his policies, or how sick our country is of our previous Republic president, or how horrible the alternative (John McCain) was.  Here’s the thing though.  People say Obama wouldn’t have won if he was white, and he was the “first president to win based on race”.  Well, I’d bet money that Abraham Lincoln wouldn’t have won if he was black.  So put that in your pipe and smoke it.

9.  Don’t Trust the Promises

Obama will crush the poor and middle class.  Taxes on “the rich” (that nebulous arch-enemy trotted out by progressives seeking power) will be passed on to the consumer through raised prices, downsizing and layoffs, plus outsourcing.  Don’t believe his promises.

Yes.  Taxing the rich means higher prices.  Because taxing the poor to the point they that can’t afford things and the demand decreases while the supply remains the same could never affect prices.

10.  First African American President

I am first, and foremost, disappointed that Senator McCain did not win the presidential race.  However, “America voted” and chose Barack Obama to be our next president.  We have our first white, black, and Arab president!

I first and foremost would like to know why you put quotation marks around “America voted.”  I can’t stand it when quotation marks are used unnecessarily.  And … Wait, Obama is Arab?  That’s news to me.  I thought he was our first African American president, not Arab.  Now I’m just confused.  Or you’re just a moron.  Yeah, that’s the one.

11.  Hope

Hope.

Apparently the less words you provide, the bigger the font they use.  Seriously, this one was the largest quote, in the middle of the page.  And the “Yes we did” one wasn’t much smaller.

12.  Misbehaving Child

Like a parent whose child has just misbehaved, I still love America, yet dislike its behavior at this time.  The election of Barack Obama signals a cardinal change in American voting behavior from voting on what a candidate represents, to voting based on who a person represents.

I included this specifically because, not only do I love Brad, but he is also one of the few that actually proofread their emails before sending it to Cedars.  High five!





Things I’ve Seen, Pt. 4

12 11 2008

We really went all out for you this time.  We’ve got eight things we’ve seen that don’t completely square with reality.  Enjoy!

1.  Writing Papers

... Don't go to them for grammatical help

... Don't go to them for grammatical help

Every poster in the Lower SSC is grammatically correct except for the one offering to help you with your papers!  Where’s the question mark?!

2.  Rubik’s Cube

It exploded ...

It exploded ...

I know, this isn’t that unusual for an old Rubik’s Cube, but I wanted to include it.  Apparently my cube was having a bad day, because it literally just broke apart in my hands while I was solving it.  And it was so young … *sniff*

3.  Turn Me On

A forward piece of equipment

A forward piece of equipment

Will do.  My only question is, who is Number 6?  It sounds like a name out of Austin Powers or something.  Actually, that would be fitting in the context.

4.  Illiterate Menu

How do YOU spell quesadilla?

How do YOU spell quesadilla?

(Compliments of the lovely Krista Goodman.)

Phonetically, they basically got it right.  But phonetics probably won’t win you a Spelling Bee.

Also, Roast Beef is two words.  Roast would be the adjective describing what kind of beef it is.  Nice job, guys.

5.  Indecisive Chinese Place

one-of-the-best-chinese

The best, just not legally

Well, which is it?  This Chinese restaurant must have low self esteem.  Either that or, after eating their free meal, their lawyers told them, “You’re going to want to add this line, trust us.”

6.  Box of Gluten

box-of-gluten

Got Gluten?

Why would you ever need a whole box of Gluten?  I guess I never really cook, so there’s probably some viable reason.  I just found it even more amusing because one of my friends is a Celiac, and my roommate and I were joking about getting her a box of pure Gluten … A few days later, lo and behold, our wish is granted!  (Don’t worry, Megan.  We didn’t get it.)

7.  Apple Crash

I found it amusing when the Operating System told me to panic.  Hey, if Apple doesn't know what happened, what hope do we have?  (For all your nerds out there who care, you can't install Leopard on a G3 Processor.)

Panic is acceptable

You know it can’t be good when the Operating System tells you to panic.  I mean, the Operating System is what’s supposed to always give the appearance of happy to the user so they don’t panic!  If Apple doesn’t know what’s going on, what hope do we have?

(To all you nerds out there who want to know what the problem was, you can’t install Leopard on a G3 Processor.)

8.  Never Settle

Dave and I find it ironic that the lid of this water bottle says "Never Settle."  Really?  But ... It's a water bottle.  If you want a drink, water is about as "settling" as you can get.  So, everytime you're thirsty and you bust our your water bottle for a drink, you're instantly encouraged to drink something else ... ANYTHING else.

Never settle for water

Here’s a little quiz.  What is the most common substance held by a water bottle?  That’s right: water.

Griffin has this tag in the lid of his water bottle that says “Never Settle.”  That’s probably a good way to get you to go out and do something with your life, but did they ever stop to think about the immediate consequences of this phrase?  Your bottle is filled with water.  Water is about the most settled you can get.  So, everytime your thirst overwhelms you and you pop the lid for a drink, you’re instantly encouraged to close the lid and drink something else.  That makes sense.

But, hey, at least they already got you to buy the $30 bottle.  Sucker!

-alex





Things I’ve Seen, Pt. 3

21 10 2008

Third edition!  (Short, but I just wanted to get it out, eh.)

1.  Sexy Dollar

Sexy Dollar
Ryan’s free phone sex

Ryan received this dollar bill as change from some girl at some restaurant. Point being, he’s never spent it. His reasoning is that he would be weirded out giving it to anyone, though we told him he could just put it in a vending machine.

And, yes, we did call the number. It’s always an answering machine.

2.  Women Tornado Shelter

Women Tornado Shelter
Sexist sign

So, what, is it a women’s only tornado shelter? What’s the deal? Also, why is this sign on the third floor of ENS … ?

3.  Superhero Volleball

Superhero Volleyball
Libby the Volleyball Superhero

Libby, we knew you were awesome at Volleyball, but this picture makes you even better! Seriously, you can shoot balls out of your hand?! Why have you not told anyone about this super power?!

-alex